Friday, June 25, 2010

More Books - for 2nd grade

The last of school books for 2nd grade have been ordered and most came today. I love getting new books. Only 2 books yet to arrive are, the Usborne World History Encyclopedia and the Usborne Science Encyclopedia. Today we got Story of the World Volume 2, activity guide along with the test and answer book. The test book was on a great sale, $9.32 on We also got Horrible Geography, Wicked Weather and The Stunning Science of Everything, You Wouldn't Want to Be a Roman Gladiator, and a map of Route 66.

He loves the Horrible Science, History, Geography books. I wish our library system carried them. I am thinking of buying the entire set but they are expensive, it would blow my excellent budget for this school year out of the water. Together they would cost more than everything I have spent on curriculum. I may get the science ones at least, he likes them best.

The Route 66 map we will incorporate with geography and map skills. He will be helping to plan our cross country trip we are taking next year.

We both enjoyed the Story of the World last year and I look forward to the next volume. I do have a tip for the activity guide, take it to kinkos and have it rebound onto a spiral. It makes it much easier to copy the activity sheets, if you are keeping the guides. The test guide is not something I would purchase at this age, but with the great price I felt it would make good practice and I can keep it to reuse in later years.

Of course, no back to school order would be complete without INK! It seems like we go through ink like water. Now that I have ink it is time to start printing my lesson planner for next year. I use for my lesson planner, I like being able to print only what we need.

I can't believe we start school back full time next month. We have been doing a few things such as botany, math and a map workbook. Maybe working 3 days a week and I haven't done lessons or anything we have just been working through the books. It is time for Mom to get busy and start making lesson plans.

Don't you just love seeing boxes of books show up at your door.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Sunflower Update - 12 Days

Day 10 - start of real leaves

It has been 12 days since we planted out sunflowers in the light box. They are ready for planting outside, we have the first real leaves and they are growing taller everyday. Hoping for a chance of rain this week so we can plant them and they will get all watered in.

Day 12 - Ready for the outside

The ones we planted in the water are growing but not nearly as fast. We might move them to a paper pot this week and see how they do.

Day 12 - Water seeds, slowly making progress

He is asking what we will grow next, I am not sure but I am thinking the cardboard light box is going to be in the kitchen for awhile.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Map Skills

Map Skills was one of the workbooks I purchased for us to use in geography for our 2nd grade year. He loves this workbook, he is half way finished and I even started 2md grade, yet. On his own he will pull this workbook out to work in it. It is a simple easy to read and follow workbook. Very colorful maps and pictures to help teach map reading. He has learned about different maps, map keys, and compass reading, so far. He has also made his own map with map key. He has been drawing maps for everything such as alien headquaters, the city we live in with his favorite places, etc. I will be ordering more of these workbooks for him and the best part they are only $5.49 each at

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Lego Letters

They are here! I have been waiting for these to arrive. I found the Lego letters a few months ago and began a search on Ebay for a set. They are priced at $69.95 and while I wanted them, I did not want them that much. I was finally able to get a set on Ebay.

With the set you get 2 bases and over 150 letters. The set I purchased came from the UK and came with several letters that are not used in English. I did get the entire alphabet in both upper and lower case. I plan on taking the extra pieces and making stickers with punctuation symbols, to use for sentence structure lessons. I purchased them as a hands on activity for spelling.

Here is where you can find more information of Lego Education and the letter set.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Bug Club

Bug Club has started back for summer. This one of LittleBit's favorite activities. We are very lucky that our local Parks and Recreation department has many great programs all year round for kids. One of our favorites is Bug Club, they meet once a month at the Wilderness station, in one of the area parks. Each month they learn about the bugs that live in our area. This month there was a bug hunt, you take your bug jar collect bugs and bring them back to the station to identify your finds.

WARNING: There will be pictures of bugs including a spider below.

LittleBit found 5 different bugs on his hunt.

Collecting bugs.

Milkweed beetle
Assassin Beetle

Wheel Beetle

Wolf spider

(the white ball on the right in the picture is an egg sack)


Identifying bugs

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Update on Light Box Seedlings

Here are a few pictures from the seedlings we are growing in the light box project covered in Apologia Botany book. It has been only 5 days since the seeds were planted and already we have seen lots of changes.

Within 2 days we were able to see the radicle emerge from the seed.

On day 5 we saw the testa(the outer seed) start to open and the beginnings of the seed leaves.

The seeds we put in water have been slower to emerge but they are making progress.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Light Box for Botany

LittleBit and I built a light box for Botany today. It was not difficult and the instructions listed in the Apologia Botany book were easy to follow. We used a cardboard box, aluminum foil, socket base, extension cord, glue, and one CF light bulb. We used paper pots we made for seeds. We also put a few in a clear container of water to be able to observe the seeds sprouting and the beginning root system.

Supplies Used

Attaching the light

Finished box with aluminum foil glued to side and light bulb installed

Seeds picked for experiment

Seeds planted in paper pots plus a few in a clear container of water

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Wood Working Project - Chair

As I had mentioned in a previous post, I have discovered the Knock Off Wood blog. The clip rail project found below was discovered there. While I was reading the blog, LittleBit saw a picture of the adirondack chair and wanted to make one. Here is a link to the project:

It looked easy to do and required little in supplies. The wood cost just over $7.00 and the screws cost about $5.00. I still need to purchase some blue exterior paint. Overall the project will cost about $20.00 but I will have paint left over for other projects.

It was fun to make even if it took about 4 hours for an 1 hour project. He measured and marked all the wood to be cut. He was able to get in practice using and reading a ruler correctly. He helped make a few cuts but he thought the saw was to loud, he bug hunted while Dad made the cuts.

He helped sand and put together the chair. Which is why, with his help the project took longer than expected. He was able to learn some real world applications from this project such as:

1. Reading instructions
2. Making a supply list from instructions
3. Taking the list and shopping for supplies
4. Organizing supplies and tools
5. Reading and marking measurements
6. Follow instructions correctly to assembly chair( an easy one for him, all the LEGO kits = tons of practice)

He liked the chair so much he wanted in his room. I am going to let him have it is room for a few days, until I can get it painted.